So here it goes, my first foray into McLuhan’s” mythopoetic” (okay, maybe not quite) analytical tool to help stimulate fluid and intuitive thought about the impacts of technology and media on ourselves…. Sounds daunting! But as I was reading the Sybil, Brooks, & Nichols article, I began to realize that it isn’t supposed to be this monolithic beast of a theory—in fact it struck me as quite the contrary.
I have not been blogging most of my life. Two years ago, Doc Mara had my Writing Studies class K-log. Although I only engaged it for about 4 months, I think that might be a fair media to juxtapose with this WordPress blog because it was treated very academically. It seems like an appropriate liasion-media between my formally written papers and writing these blogs. As it turns out, I pretty much mixed the K-log with my standard, non-web writing in the analysis below.
I found it interesting that the Nardi et al article found that 84% of people blogging considered it a “hobby.” That strikes me as a very common attitude with the internet. How many users actually get paid? Not many. So it seems very much a community of enthusiasts and hobbyists… For better or worse. So here, as an enthusiast and student with a grade on the line (how do those two reconcile?!) is my tetrad attempt:
Writing–Access to information. Compared to traditional writing, I am now always-already at the fingertips of instantly gratifying information. “Abstemious”…. is that a word?…. (quick Google)… Bingo! Being near so much information allows me to write with more abandon, or should I say in a more creative way. Even this very assignment seems to encourage a more rhetorical/intuitive way of writing and thinking. On the casual, hobby-life of the internet, my free-thinking seems to merge more gently with my calculated, academic writing. I’m also far more audience-conscious. Who’s reading my blog? Everybody! (okay, probably not everybody… but the potential threat is still there). I see these three all kind of mixing together.
Reading–Information Galore! My data-bit intake for the day definitely is increased when I am using this WordPress. People are posting links to all sorts of things. This also enhances the overall internet appeal for me because I get to read a lot of excellent writers who have similar interests and minds.
Writing–With the Access to Information, I find myself not knowing exactly where I stand as a writer in relation to it all. Am I just a repeater and summarizer of information? Is it my job to entertain people with the repeated information? With this WordPress in particular, should I be writing for content or style? Since when have these two ever co-habitated peacefully?
Reading–What’s crucial? With so much information and updates and links and tags and categories and teasers and and and…. it’s hard to know what I should be focused on and looking for. Also, should the internet be a friendly, casual place, or does this allow space for unnprofessionalism? A democracy has to let everyone in, right?
Writing–I have ecstatic writing again. Okay, so you might not think this writing is anything joyous or dynamic, but compared to my usual writing (whether papers or the K-log), I am singing right now. Creativity beyond the word. Maybe this should have gone into “enhances,” but I feel like this used to be more encouraged but since college it has been exclusively about the words.
Reading– The aesthetic appreciation of not only the differing styles (which I love to see online) but also the upkeep and visual appearance of each different blog. Similar to the K-log, this WordPress has brought back the recurrence of OCD Updates. I get bombarded with e-mails. Are they all important?! ….of course they are 😉
Writing– Being totally alone while writing–>give to teacher–>revise–>peer-review–>finished product. This linear pattern is broken and subsumed by the ravenous internet. Now I write a piece as if it is never finished and as if I am not alone at all, and peers likely see it first. I think this more dynamic and collaborative “event” of writing is extremely beneficial.
Reading–Dead text. No longer is the text just in front of my eyes, dictating it’s indecipherable message. Instead, it’s all alive and intereaction (or at least on this WordPress). Primary Source first. I see so many links and references to other articles that it seems like I encounter secondary (or tertiary!) opinions and summaries of articles long before I get to the origin… Sometime I can’t even locate the origin… Wikipedia, right???
Well, there it is. I’m sure it was far too long and far too incorrect… But McLuhan wasn’t trying to make a set-in-stone tool. This is definitely a “falsifiable” analysis. So please, comment away!